All-girl bands hold a special place in our hearts because, well, they are made up of girls. But there are those that we love for more than their genetic make-up, and that has to do with how they fit into our lives in some broader way. From everyone’s responses, it seems that nostalgia has a lot to do with it.
So, everyone, who is your all-time favorite girl band?
The Linster: When I started to emerge from the self-imposed cloister from worldliness I adopted as a fundamentalist, a friend took it upon herself to catch me up on the music I missed. I will never forget sitting in her apartment when she said, “If you let it, this album will change your life.” And she dropped the needle on Heart. (Yes, I said “dropped the needle,” kids.) After the first four songs, “If Looks Could Kill,””What About Love,” “Never,” and “These Dreams,” I had to stop and walk around the block. It was almost too much for me, after 15 years of listening to little else but Christian music.
Looking back, I understand that the Wilson sisters’ driving rock, female energy, and white-hot passion stirred part of me that I had pushed down, thinking it was wrong. And I liked the way it felt. I’m not sure that album changed my life, but it still reminds me that avoiding parts of life that scare me is not a fulfilling way to live.
Apart from that deep and meaningful anecdote? Heart is awesome — not only my favorite female-fronted band, but the best. Forever and ever, Amen.
Emily Hartl: I really thought hard on this one and the answer became clear: The Runaways. I mean they were 15 when they were touring the world, being amazing and writing the best sorts of pop rock songs, on the real. It came down to the fact that if I were even a fraction as rad as they were at that age then I probably wouldn’t be sitting over here, totally and forever admiring them.
Lucy Hallowell: Know what makes you really cool in high school? I mean it’s hard to be cooler than a closet case with bad clothes but you can really take the prize by listening to the oldies station. That’s right, nothing made me seem cooler than knowing all the words to every song from the 1950s and 1960s. I was awesome in high school. OK. So no, I was not cool, which it would be nice to attribute to my taste in music but they probably weren’t related. What listening to music from decades before I was born gave me was an undying love for the girl group. I listened to them all, from the Shangri-Las and the Supremes to the Shirelles and the Ronnettes. If I have to pick one I am going to pick the Shirelles because they are credited with being the first; the one that launched a thousand girl group ships. You may know them for best for the songs “Mama Said” and “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” but my favorite is “I Met Him on a Sunday (Ronde-Ronde)” if only because not enough songs have the words “ronde-ronde” in the title.
Courtney Gillette: Holy crap, how could I ever pick just one? Today, I’ll go with ESG, the badass trio of three sisters from the South Bronx, keepin’ it real since 1978. Long before TLC or S&P, these ladies (Emerald, Sapphire and Gold) blended hip hop, congas, disco and dance punk. I mean, come on. And, when nearly everybody under the sun sampled their beats, they released an EP called Sample Credits Don’t Pay Our Bills. Top that.
Heather Hogan: My sister and I had about ten thousand Barbies when we were kids. And the Barbie Dream House. And the Barbie Corvette. Just the whole entire Barbie deal. Every Christmas, every birthday, it was all Barbie, Barbie, Barbie. I couldn’t have cared less about their unbending arm shenanigans — until Jerrica Benton came to live with them. Jerrica Benton, as you know, was the owner/manager of Starlight music. But also, she was the frontwoman of Jem and the Holograms, because her hot pink star earring was the ultimate audio-visual entertainment synthesizer, which allowed her to become a rockstar superhero! 25 years later, Jem and the Holograms are still my band. And Truly, Truly, Truly Outrageous is still my jam.
Erika Star: At first, my karaoke idled brain went with the Spice Girls. But I didn’t want to state the obvious, so I’m gonna go with Hole. Sure, it’s because they were and continue to be an outspoken force of female rock, and most recently because of Courtney’s clown-faced antics. But most importantly, because they have had some of the hottest gingers in a band, ever.
Trish Bendix: When I was 10, I knew all of the words to Salt-n-Pepa‘s Very Necessary, which still baffles me, considering my parents allowed me to purchase the album. I likely didn’t know what “Shoop” was supposed to be about, nor why I was telling people to get out my girl’s business when she’s giving up skins, but I thought it was the most fun and coolest s–t I’ve ever heard. I danced to it in my basement and it gave me a confidence I hadn’t felt from my previous obsession with New Kids on the Block or the male-driven acts of the ’90s. SNP may be a different group today, but they will always hold a place in my heart and my karaoke repertoire.
Bridget McManus: The all-female band Sick of Sarah rocks my world. I first discovered them on MySpace back in 2009 when I was searching for theme song music for my video blog Brunch with Bridget. I reached out to them to see if they would allow me to use their punk song “Not Listening” and not only did they say yes, but I discovered how friendly, funny and talented these ladies really were. I’ve used their music on every single project since (That Time of the Month, McManusLand and my upcoming documentary Chaos & Cleavage) and I’ve gained five new friends.
I’m a huge fan of these women and I will always be in the front row cheering them on. Well, their frontwoman Abisha sometimes spits water into the audience so maybe I’ll be in the second row. Sick of Sarah is currently on tour with Uh Huh Her so check them out live if they are in your neck of the woods.
Who is your favorite girl group of all time?